I'm almost ashamed to admit it took me a couple of games for me to get fired up about the Wings/Hawks series. A very different Chicago team than the last time the Wings faced the Hawks in the playoffs. No Belfour. No Roenick. And Chelios now dons the Winged Wheel. Go figure. The Hawks of old were a much easier team to hate. The reverse is also true.
Still, I like what is hopefully going to be several years of a renewed rivalry. The Hawks showed some skill, but lacked the poise and grit that the Wings have acquired over the years. In fact the Hawks remind me of the Wings teams of the late 80s/early 90s. Except they had good goaltending.
Despite the Wings domination I still really enjoyed this series. Primarily because I watched most of the Hawks/Canucks series and saw how well Chicago came back from multiple goal deficits, keeping me on edge despite nice leads.
Now on to a rematch with the Penguins, and I really, really hope the refs are not as soft on the Pens as they were last year. This is hockey, folks, Sidney (girl's name) is going to get bumped from time to time. He's not a quarterback, after all, and this is a real sport. I must say I wish the Wings were playing someone interesting the the finals. The Pens just don't do it for me.
It is still amazing this is the same organization I followed 30 years ago. Back when there were 21 teams, and the Wings were perennially one of five teams that never made the playoffs. Now if they are less than a 2 seed you call it a disappointing regular season, and anything short of the Cup finals is a choke. As big of a joke as the Detroit Lions are, the Red Wings are a model professional sports organization. Maybe they should make Illitch CEO of Chrysler.
Looks like two more weeks of the beard. By then it might actually look like one. Amy says I've set a world record for longest time without shaving and still not having a beard.